I need some time…

I’m not in a good place right now.

But I am trying.

I’m still going at that positive energy thing despite the… everything.

I woke up to go to class even though I just wanted to hole myself in… possibly forever.

I stayed back to study with M till late even though I wanted to excuse myself and go back to bed.

I bruised my brain trying to unravel the mysteries of French Gender even though I wanted to devote every precious second to moping.

And I am glad to have hung in there.

Because  I was left a note in the morning by B…

And I got a call from Aa just as I’d finished texting her…

MB texted me when she had all but 8% left in her phone… and she finished the much needed counselling just as it hit 1%.

And Shaz. I got off a stop earlier on the train because I didn’t get her call. Went to look for something I needed in the kitchen and couldn’t find it at all. Decided not to take the bus. Took the train to my shuttle stop. Got there 20 minutes earlier. Decided to walk the first floor of a mall through an entrance I almost never take. And there she was. By a shop I never knew existed.

Then someone said something that reminded me of a quote that I’d forgotten for a while, but couldn’t have come at a better time… “Everything is going to be alright in the end. If it is not alright… Then it is not the end.”

If that’s not a sign that my… OUR guardian angel is telling me to hang in there… I don’t know what is.

So thank you… all of you.

 

Hey M… I am… We are… Counting on you now.
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From one Dream, to another Country.

It’s been four days since the proverbial curtains closed on Dream Country, and I’ve only just found the time and emotional strength to talk about one of the most enriching, demanding, beautiful, and intimidating experiences of my life (thus far, … Continue reading

Her Majesty’s Request… What’s in my bag.

Severe bruising, fatigue, and the stress of un/employment has taken me away from writing for a couple of days. (MISS ME? Ahh… you’ll survive!)

But after two full days of sticking medicinal patches and applying heat packs all over my body, I’m finally ready to face the world again…

Or so I thought.

Driving class was an absolute chore today – mainly because I’m still aching all over. My neck is still especially sore, which meant that checking my blind spots was nothing short of torture.

Fortunately, I had friends to look forward to after class. Seeing lovely people such as my dearest D, Shaz, Evie, SH, WL, Miss J, Mdm A and Mdm M reminded me just how lucky I was while I was holding my full-time job. Mdm A and Mdm M even managed to make our Very Serious Conversation enjoyable, though their combined loveliness didn’t make my decision-making process any easier.

Mdm M in particular (I love calling my boss that. Makes her sound like a top secret service agent.) just seemed to know exactly where I am, and where I hope to be heading without me even having to say a word.

I still have a couple of days and a handful of hours to go before I make up my mind, so I thought I’ll write this for Mdm M, who thinks a ‘What’s in your bag?’ post is in order.

“Look at the colour of her bag! Says so much about her state of mind right now!”

Brolly ‘cos I keep getting caught in the rain when I go for my driving classes.

A fan ‘cos I’m a secret Geisha-Ninja.

Sunblock ‘cos… well… have you ever met a tanned geisha? 

(Rather, fan and sunblock thanks to my many afternoon rehearsals.)

Elastic band, discontinued lipbalm =(, girl stuff (!!! Tee. Hee.), driving booklet, organiser, favourite pencil, mirror, eyedrops.
Ancient iPod, wallet and coin pouch, plaster, hydration, theory books that I am giving away.
Ninja-warming cape.
Dream Country reflection book, favourite pen, inspiration – Jeanette Winterson.

Three Month Mark

It’s been three months since I left work and I have…

Gone for a music festival – St Jerome’ Laneway Festival (Does Coachella over Youtube count as a second one? =D)

Gone for a concert – toe, Mosaic (I see me =D)

Attended a Butoh Workshop with Alb and Kai

Watched a play

Ironed all my darn clothes

Studied French

Watched movies – 300, Amélie, Any Given Sunday, Delicatessen, Fight Club, Infernal Affairs, L’Auberge Espagnole, La Combe Lucien, Les Petits Mouchoirs, Lost in Translation, Machuca, Melancholia, The Descendants, The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Swedish and English Versions), The Godfather I, II and III, The Iron Lady, The Lady

Read – Olivia (in French), Lady Chatterley’s Lover, The Great Frustration, There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor’s Baby, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

Worked out (almost) every day

Made crème brúlée (got my own blow torch), made pasta, bread, jam.

Picked up driving

Visited the museum – Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition

Organised the wardrobe and accessories …

Supported Soccer games…

Made new friends…

Most importantly…

Reconnected with loved ones I’ve neglected – Momo, Sis-es, Melb, K, Hui, Xiu, Shus, Bestie, SQ, B

Three months have passed.

And that feeling that time is running out sneaks up on me and teases that panic button ever so often. But it is also that sense of the inevitable end; those limits, that force us to get out there and push ourselves further and harder, so I am thankful.

No time to lament or feel sorry. Not today at least.

Loads more I’ve yet to accomplish, and loads more to come – driving examination, Arts Festival performance, N’s wedding and my long-awaited Berlin visit. (Tokyo soon, I hope!)

And oh yes. I’ve started this humble little blog. This is my 80th post.

The Savior – Molten Lava Cake

We made pizza, pasta and molten lava cake. And J put his life in grave danger frying calamari for us hungry little people. The calamari was delicious, so I dare say all of us being splattered by oil as we worked on the same side of the kitchen was well worth the risk.

He even ‘tickled our tastebuds’ (his words!) with this INSANE Japanese beef. Please refer to the price tag for the exact amount.

Like a painting.

This thing was just… melt-in-your-mouth. The texture is… almost tofu like? But not quite? I know I made a lot of weird animal-like sounds when I popped it into my mouth. Much to the dismal/confusion of my guests.

Also, I’d decided to be adventurous and made pizza dough using Jamie O’s recipe instead of my usual, and the damn dough was such a flop. I couldn’t cut through the pizza crust at all and we had to use scissors in the end =/ Except for some areas, the pizza was chewy. To think I had made sure every part was toasted to a golden brown too. Very disappointing. I’d have to say though, Jamie had promised a much softer dough to knead with through his use of bread flour – and that bit was true.

We hand made the pasta as before but with Jerm’s help this time, and as usual, B cooked too little of his delicious alfredo sauce (again).

My dear, dear friends as usual, ate everything anyway. They even finished the pizza – which really embarrassed me to be honest. To think that pizzas were my go-to party food in the past. All that made me even more jittery when it came to the dessert course – what if I messed up again? =/ (Yes. I’ve got a complex like that.)

Fortunately, the molten lava cake turned out beautifully. Hence it’s rechristening, The Savior. Besides… When has chocolate fail to mend a broken heart/rescue a sh*t day? Here’s the recipe I’ve modified from Veronica’s Kitchen.

The Savior –  Molten Lava Cake

(Serves 4, though I managed a 5th one)

  • 100 g unsweetened dark chocolate
  • 100 g butter, cube into small + additional 20g or so to butter the ramekins generously
  • 2 eggs
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 20 g cake flour – but you can use all-purpose flour
  • cocoa powder, to dust the ramekins with. If you do not have cocoa powder, and do not wish to buy more just for this, I’ve seen people use caster sugar. It’s supposed to caramelise to form a crunchy exterior too!
  1. Preheat oven to 180˚C
  2. Put a clean bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and melt the chocolate and butter in it. When you have a smooth, shiny pool of chocolate, turn off the fire. (I kept it over the water to keep it warm while I do the rest of the stuff.)
  3. Generously butter ramekins. This is important so that the cocoa powder will stick to it in the next step and assist the unmoulding in the end.
  4. Dust the buttered ramekins with cocoa powder completely. Line with bottle with a square of baking paper just enough to cover the bottom. This is such a great tip that’ll help  you remove the cakes after baking.
  5. Beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl, until the mixture turns pale, thick and fluffy.
  6. Fold the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.
  7. Sift in the flour and lightly combine well. If you over mix or go at it with a heavy hand the batter will deflate.
  8. Divide the batter into ramekins. Bake in the preheated oven for 9 to 10 minutes, until the outside edges are set, yet with wobbly inside. Remove from oven and let them rest for a minute or two on a wire rack.
  9. Invert each cake onto a serving plate and carefully remove the ramekin. If the ramekin gets stuck, do not knock at it on the plate. The sides are barely baked (so the centre can remain gooey) and knocking may break the thin top layer, causing your goo to ooze out before you even serve it! If the cake gets stuck, carefully run a thin knife round the side of the ramekin.

I’ve always prepared my molten lava cakes in advance – who wants to be losing their heads in the kitchen when the guests are here? Simply cover them with some plastic wrap, let it rest at room temperature before baking, and observe to see if the cakes need an extra minute in the oven.

Northern Ireland butter! Could this be the secret ingredient?

Yea, yea… So I added the egg to the chocolate instead of the chocolate to the egg. Sue me.

Swirls!

être bon, mon petits gâteaux!

Perfection! 

And yes. I forgot to take a photo of the chocolate ooozzzinggg out. We were too busy pigging out.  It was good. Trust me.